Decline in Eastern Cape unemployment rate welcomed

Eastern Cape Finance, Economic Development, Environmental Affairs and Tourism MEC, Mlungisi Mvoko.

Decline in Eastern Cape unemployment rate welcomed

2 Jun 2021 09:47

Eastern Cape Finance, Economic Development, Environmental Affairs and Tourism MEC, Mlungisi Mvoko, has welcomed the decline in the unemployment rate in the province. This follows the statistical release of the Quarterly Labour Force Survey by Stats SA for the first quarter of 2021.

The report shows that the Eastern Cape has recorded 65000 new jobs during the quarter, resulting in the decline in the Province’s unemployment rate from an alarming 47.9% to 43.8%.

"The Eastern Cape government sees this as a great response of our economy, reflecting a continuation of the labour market recovery from COVID-19 lockdowns. We note that the net job increases were mainly in financial services, business services and trade and retail sectors of the economy," said MEC Mvoko.

"Also important to note are the improvements in net job creation in other key sectors of the provincial economy including manufacturing and construction, pointing to the fact that the much anticipated economic recovery is slowly gaining traction and is broad based.

"As government of the Eastern Cape, we remain preoccupied with the task of growing the economy and creating jobs as guided by the Provincial Economic recovery Plan.

"This plan, the provincial five-point economic recovery plan, is aligned to the broader national reconstruction and recovery plan (Operation Vulindlela). The plan emphasizes infrastructure investment both by government and the private sector, fast-tracking the implementation of policies and regulatory frameworks that promote industrialization and sector development, promoting equitable and inclusive transformation, accelerating digital transformation and utilising public finance as key drivers of our recovery efforts."

The MEC said that over the coming medium term, the provincial government will be allocating just more than R13 billion annually into economic cluster departments (Economic Development, Environmental Affairs and Tourism, Rural Development and Agrarian Reform, Public Works and Infrastructure, Transport and Human settlements), targeting programmes that will assist in providing short-term employment and economic relief for economically distressed households, stimulate the provincial economy and create long-term employment opportunities.

"The four public entities, Coega Development Corporation, East London IDZ, ECPTA and ECDC) in the province, have been tasked and urged to play a significant role in our provincial economic recovery efforts moving forward. All together have been allocated a combined budget of just more than R2 billion over the 2021 MTEF period," Mvoko said.

"Additional to our own provincial allocations, the planning and rollout of various national government mega and strategic economic and social infrastructure projects in the province have been activated while some are at an advanced planning stages with various public private financing schemes being explored.

"These include the Umzimvubu Dam, the Mbashe Industrial Scale Marine Tilapia Projects, and the N2 Nodal Development, Higher Education Student Accommodation. Some of these mega projects will be implemented through the two provincial SEZs, the ELIDZ and CDC whilst some will be through the national government SOEs and implementing agents."

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